Bolanle Ambode, wife of the Lagos state governor, says seeing children going to school without shoes is heartbreaking.
She said this at the launch of `Project Bright Steps`, an initiative she set up to address such problems, and also focus on children’s social welfare, education and healthcare.
“Wearing shoes is not a luxury, but a necessity. It is heartbreaking to see some of our children going to school without shoes,” she said.
“Walking without shoes has caused many children to fall ill or lose their feet to infections and other life-threatening diseases.
“This initiative will begin to equip primary one to three pupils in all public primary schools across the state with made in Nigeria shoes, socks, bags and other education materials.
“This is also to encourage local production of school materials as over 175, 000 pupils will benefit from the project this year.
“These children represent the future of our country and we will continue to do our best to motivate them for excellence.”
She said a properly equipped pupil is better motivated, more confident and has high self-esteem, which will translate to better academic performance.
Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, represented by Idiat Adebule, his deputy, lauded the initiative, saying the education and moulding of children – the nation’s future leaders – required collective effort.
“These materials will give succour to these children and help them unleash their full potentials in life,” he said.
“Our administration will continue to ensure that every child enjoys quality education that will transform their lives for a better and brighter tomorrow.”
He urged non-governmental organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to support government’s efforts in providing basic education needs and making schooling conducive for children in the state.
Olanrewaju Ogunyemi, chairman, house committee on education, Lagos state house of assembly, said infrastructure upgrade was required in some primary schools in the state.
He urged private organisations to partner with government and take up rehabilitation and repair projects in such schools as their corporate social responsibility to the communities.